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When young graduate Arthur steps into the headquarters of Foreign minister office he did not quite expect the chaos and the grandeur of the place. He is not quite sure if he wants the job, but “the king of the castle”, foreign minister Alexandre Taillard (Thierry Lhermitte) does not leave him much of a choice. In a place overloaded with rules and procedures, most of the time irrelevant, what does it take to have the job done?
QUAI D’ORSAY is a French version of English YES, MINISTER and based on the popular comic book. This dialogue oriented movie feels more like a full length sitcom episode than a feature film. The palace QUAI D’ORSAY shown as a cosy mess inhabited with likable characters, the most colourful of them is the minister himself. Thierry Lermitte portrays him as a slamming door, bursting with energy, short fused man, who is never at fault - surely many viewers will recognise in his behaviour their own boss right there.
With many dramatic and hilarious situations the dialogue is so swift that may be hard to follow for non French speakers. There’s no villain in the story, and no ending - you almost expect to see “to be continued” line after the credits roll. With none of the character story arcs resolved it is hard to say the QUAI D’ORSAY is a satisfactory viewing, however while you are watching, it is a very enjoyable piece.